Thread: Has anyone had any problems with Hennessey Performance?

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  1. #1
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    Default Has anyone had any problems with Hennessey Performance?

    Viper specialist John Hennessey is up to his cylinder heads in problems
    By MARK VAUGHN

    Ninety-eight percent of his customers love him, John Hennessey says. But a few hate him and some have sued.Hennessey Motorsports in Houston specializes in tuning Vipers, adding more power to what is already one of the most powerful cars in the world. Hennessey’s Vipers have been featured in this and many other magazines and the cars he has sent to us and to other media were impressive performers. Hennessey presents himself well, projecting an image of the consummate Texas good ol’ boy whose reassuring conversational style and howyewdoin’ demeanor put customers at ease. People believe they will get what he says he’ll give them. But not all people do.


    According to a lawsuit filed in Salt Lake City, Utah resident Taig Stewart sent his Viper GTS to Hennessey last May for an engine upgrade to 1100 hp along with several other modifications. For that he wire-transferred $142,500 to Hennessey. The lawsuit states the parties agreed the car would be done by mid-July 2001. As of press time the car was still sitting under a tarp in Hennessey’s shop in Houston. Or most of the car, anyway. Stewart’s suit claims Hennessey sold the car’s engine, transmission, wheels, tires and hood. The suit seeks return of the money, the Viper and “no less than $1 million” in punitive damages.

    Hennessey claims he’s just slow in getting the work done.

    “My side of the story is we’re planning on finishing his car and planning on giving him everything that he paid for,” said Hennessey. As for the parts being sold, “That’s totally false. We’ve got all his parts in the shop except the hood and he wanted to do a lightweight hood.”

    Stewart is not the first unsatisfied customer. The longer we dug the more dissatisfaction we found. Here’s a sampling:

    ■On Nov. 14 a New Jersey court entered a final judgement of $133,674 against Hennessey on behalf of Viper owner Gary Dan for a botched conversion.

    ■William Walters said he is out over $22,000 after shipping his Corvette to Hennessey for a head and cam package that was never done; he did have five rods bent and a head gasket damaged on the dyno in Hennessey’s shop during an experiment Hennessey tried with nitrous oxide.

    ■Jerry Johnson said he had to file suit in Placer County Court in California to straighten out registration and engine computer problems on a Viper he bought from Hennessey. n Jon Belinkie said he loves the changes made to his Viper but had to sue in his home state of Maryland, then register the judgement in Texas, to recover overcharges Hennessey made on his American Express card.

    ■Rick Ryan said he had to hound Hennessey for eight months by long distance from Marietta, Georgia, to put the proper wing and stripes on his Viper.

    ■Mark Lublin said he sent his Viper cylinder heads to Hennessey for new valves but when the heads came back he found the “new” valves were actually used; a cam that was delivered to Lublin in a Hennessey box turned out to be a stock Chrysler cam. Lublin was finally refunded $5,715 from American Express but only after nine months of disputing the charge; and he got no money from Hennessey.

    ■Bruce Iannatuono said he ordered $8,500 worth of Hennessey parts for his mechanic in Baltimore to install but was only able to use two-thirds of what was shipped, and then only after haranguing Hennessey for six months on an order that was originally promised in five weeks.

    Most of the complaints come from outside Texas. Hennessey, some said, tends to take better care of local customers.

    “If you were out of state, man you were fair game,” said Kyle Kent, a former employee at Hennessey Motorsports. When an out-of-state car came in it was sometimes parted out, with the wheels, tires and whatever else looked good going to other cars waiting to be finished or sold outright, according to Kent and others inside Hennessey Motorsports. Then Hennessey would call the car’s owner and try to sell him an upgraded kit. If the customer balked, Hennessey would take parts from other cars in the shop, or just let the job sit.

    Kent described one typical disassembly on an out-of-state Viper. “The motor and transmission went into a Durango John was putting together, the brakes went to someone else, the hood went to a guy in Ohio, the rear bumper to South Carolina, man you name it. We had multiple cars like that.”

    Another common practice was putting stock parts on what was supposed to be an upgraded car.

    “One customer spent $130,000 to $140,000 and that guy thought he had purchased a Venom 650R package which he thought came with the stroker motor,” Kent said. “John told him he was getting a stroker. He was just getting heads and cams.”

    Hennessey denies any wrongdoing.

    “I’ve got probably 3000 customers,” he said. “I’ve built over 300 cars and out of that I’ve had a handful of people that I’ve had some sort of a delivery problem with and I’ve had some of them who have sued me. So is that some sort of a trend or is that par for the course?”


    This article was last updated on: 04/05/02, 00:00 et
    Link

    I know this is a very old article, but I wanted some consumer opinions before I decide to have the performance upgrades done on my Gen 2 Viper...

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Has anyone had any problems with Hennessey Performance?

    There plenty of Viper builders/tuners out there who do not have Henessey's baggage.

    Dependent on where you are located, Underground Racing (NC), Heffner (FL), ART (TX), Macedo Motorsports (FL), and DC Performance (CA) have pretty solid reputations in the Viper community. There may be others I have missed.

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    Default Re: Has anyone had any problems with Hennessey Performance?

    Quote Originally Posted by sdaddy View Post
    There plenty of Viper builders/tuners out there who do not have Henessey's baggage.

    Dependent on where you are located, Underground Racing (NC), Heffner (FL), ART (TX), Macedo Motorsports (FL), and DC Performance have pretty solid reputations in the Viper community. There may be others I have missed.
    So you suggest not doing work at Hennessey, just in case?

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    Default Re: Has anyone had any problems with Hennessey Performance?

    I wouldn't trust him with my tricycle!
    2008 Venom Red/Silver, 2012 Chrysler 300 SRT-8 2009 Black/Red Coupe (Sold), 2002 Graphite GTS (Totaled-drunk driver) 1970 Olds 442 Convertible

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    Default Re: Has anyone had any problems with Hennessey Performance?

    Quote Originally Posted by raph12 View Post
    So you suggest not doing work at Hennessey, just in case?
    Where are you located and what are you having done?

    I don't know that Vipers are even Henesseys thing anymore. He seems to a little into everything from Corvettes, to Camaros, to Cadillacs to building his own supercar based on a Lotus. He is also running a tuner school and I am sure part of the tuner school is getting experience by working on customer cars.

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    Default Re: Has anyone had any problems with Hennessey Performance?

    Who would you trust with your sweet tricycle??



    Yeah, I have read several articles like that about big H. Sure, most companies that have been around for a while, will have "bagage".. but some understand that it's sometimes worth focusing on making a customer happy over a bump in the profit..

    Just love all the lip service you get and can read on most company websites.. "Satisfaction guaranteed, for us, the customer always comes first, if you are not 100% satisfied, let management know and you have my word that we do whatever it takes to set things right.. etc... etc.."

    All companies make mistakes.. sh!t happens; it's how those companies make things right that sets them apart!

    Caveat emptor!



    Quote Originally Posted by ViperNM View Post
    I wouldn't trust him with my tricycle!

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    Default Re: Has anyone had any problems with Hennessey Performance?

    i wouldnt let him change my oil

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    Default Re: Has anyone had any problems with Hennessey Performance?

    Quote Originally Posted by sdaddy View Post
    Where are you located and what are you having done?

    I don't know that Vipers are even Henesseys thing anymore. He seems to a little into everything from Corvettes, to Camaros, to Cadillacs to building his own supercar based on a Lotus. He is also running a tuner school and I am sure part of the tuner school is getting experience by working on customer cars.
    Toronto, Canada and I'm thinking either supercharged or turbocharged, either way, something in the 800-1000BHP range with all of the trimmings.

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    Default Re: Has anyone had any problems with Hennessey Performance?

    If you are in Toronto, you might want to consider Chuck Tator who is located in New York. He is much closer and I have never read a negative comment about his work.
    2014 Blk SRT Viper TA; old Vper: Q: 11.4 sec. st mi: 174; 08 SRT8 Jeep(159.52 in st mi)(Q:12.13/111.7);00 Fd Lightning:Q:12.89/105.48. Best Quarter mile result ( Top Dragster): 207.43 /6.793

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    Default Re: Has anyone had any problems with Hennessey Performance?

    Quote Originally Posted by Bobpantax View Post
    If you are in Toronto, you might want to consider Chuck Tator who is located in New York. He is much closer and I have never read a negative comment about his work.
    He does performance upgrades? Twin-turbo-kit/supercharger-kit installations? With suspension, wheel and tire upgrades?

  11. #11

    Default Re: Has anyone had any problems with Hennessey Performance?

    Underground, end of story

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    Default Re: Has anyone had any problems with Hennessey Performance?

    Chuck Tator. Never ever a bad word said about him. I will say it again Chuck Tator. If you go anywhere else don't come here complaining.
    Chuck 98 RT/10
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    Default Re: Has anyone had any problems with Hennessey Performance?

    Not only would I not give J.H. a cent of my hard earned money, I would NEVER buy a car that he has ever touched. Just tainted goods, and you never know what you got. When I have been in the market for a used Viper and run across a "Hennesey" modded car, I think what a sucker that owner was and RUN the other direction...

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    Default Re: Has anyone had any problems with Hennessey Performance?

    (1)HENNESSY (2)HENNESSY 3)HENNESSY.....OK..Eihter Beetle Juice just appreared and has plans to over all screw me in the long run or Candy Man appeared and has plans to slit my throat right now..

    Either way it's not good to even say that name...That guy is a thief plain and simple..The things he did were not "JUST BUISNESS" It was the intentional screwing and lying and useing of other human beings

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    Default Re: Has anyone had any problems with Hennessey Performance?

    Hey if your looking at Hennessey - contact David Wilks also.....

  16. #16
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    Cool Re: Has anyone had any problems with Hennessey Performance?

    Quote Originally Posted by raph12 View Post
    He does performance upgrades? Twin-turbo-kit/supercharger-kit installations? With suspension, wheel and tire upgrades?

    Lets talk, if you'd like....

    http://forums.viperclub.org/vendor-review-tators-dodge/

  17. #17
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    Default Re: Has anyone had any problems with Hennessey Performance?

    I can't remember if it was on here or the Alley, but someone had a link to a LS1 forum (I think) that really showed his colors. People were complaining about him and he came on cussing them out, telling them they are pieces of ****, that he doesn't need their business, etc.
    I wouldn't trust him to already, but after reading that thread, I don't know how he's even still in business. Anyone who KNOWS cars won't deal with him. It's the poor saps who just read the magazine articles about him that keeps him going.

  18. #18
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    Default Re: Has anyone had any problems with Hennessey Performance?

    I just got a Hennessey TT SRT that I took the car all apart. I have the engine out and putting in new bearings and rings. I also am doing some ARP bolts that should have been in there. The car did have a 522 stroker in it so I was happy. I know of others that were not as lucky

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    Default Re: Has anyone had any problems with Hennessey Performance?

    This seems like ancient history..... don't do it. I'm surprised this was even posted to begin with, you can't do a google search without finding tons of commentary on questionable practices....

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    Default Re: Has anyone had any problems with Hennessey Performance?

    Quote Originally Posted by TowDawg View Post
    someone had a link to a LS1 forum (I think) that really showed his colors. People were complaining about him and he came on cussing them out, telling them they are pieces of ****, that he doesn't need their business, etc.
    I wouldn't trust him to already, but after reading that thread, I don't know how he's even still in business.
    I read that exchange also and it was an insight into the mentality of the man. It was not the type of personality I would ever want to deal with. People change; but, why take the chance when there are other untainted options? Also, the company may be under new management; but, they decided on keeping the name because of all it represents ? That doesn't sound like a good business plan either !

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    Default Re: Has anyone had any problems with Hennessey Performance?

    Quote Originally Posted by plumcrazy View Post
    i wouldnt let him change my oil
    I wouldn't give him my old oil.....Incase he put it in another car

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    Default Re: Has anyone had any problems with Hennessey Performance?

    there's a bit of a joke over here with '550 Venom' (Blue GTS) we gave the owner a load of stick at a club dyno day, where the numbers came up a little short of 550

    this car was originally put together for Bill Gates as well
    hennessey has such a bad name i find it hard beleive anyone would still send their car there

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    Default Re: Has anyone had any problems with Hennessey Performance?

    Quote Originally Posted by BW96snake View Post
    Who would you trust with your sweet tricycle??



    Yeah, I have read several articles like that about big H. Sure, most companies that have been around for a while, will have "bagage".. but some understand that it's sometimes worth focusing on making a customer happy over a bump in the profit..

    Just love all the lip service you get and can read on most company websites.. "Satisfaction guaranteed, for us, the customer always comes first, if you are not 100% satisfied, let management know and you have my word that we do whatever it takes to set things right.. etc... etc.."

    All companies make mistakes.. sh!t happens; it's how those companies make things right that sets them apart!

    Caveat emptor!
    Quote Originally Posted by Twister View Post
    (1)HENNESSY (2)HENNESSY 3)HENNESSY.....OK..Eihter Beetle Juice just appreared and has plans to over all screw me in the long run or Candy Man appeared and has plans to slit my throat right now..

    Either way it's not good to even say that name...That guy is a thief plain and simple..The things he did were not "JUST BUISNESS" It was the intentional screwing and lying and useing of other human beings
    Agreed x2, I went through his facility at TX2K10 and was just shaking my head. Those poor customers. Hennessey will get what's coming to him.


    Quote Originally Posted by Neil - UK View Post
    there's a bit of a joke over here with '550 Venom' (Blue GTS) we gave the owner a load of stick at a club dyno day, where the numbers came up a little short of 550

    this car was originally put together for Bill Gates as well
    hennessey has such a bad name i find it hard beleive anyone would still send their car there
    You realize that the car won't put 550 to the tires if it is rated at 550 to the motor right? Avg. 15% drivetrain loss it should put down 470RWHP ish.

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    Default Re: Has anyone had any problems with Hennessey Performance?

    I appreciate all of the advice guys, that narrows things down a little lol.

    Thanks again, cheers.

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    Default Re: Has anyone had any problems with Hennessey Performance?

    did you notice post #16

    good as gold

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    Default Re: Has anyone had any problems with Hennessey Performance?

    Quote Originally Posted by eucharistos View Post
    did you notice post #16

    good as gold
    I know, I PMed him already, waiting on a response...

  27. #27
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    Default Re: Has anyone had any problems with Hennessey Performance?

    Call him.. Look at my sig

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    Default Re: Has anyone had any problems with Hennessey Performance?

    Quote Originally Posted by VIPER BAZ UK View Post
    Call him.. Look at my sig
    Not in that much of a hurry, I'd rather just talk to him over the net and if we agree on terms, take it to the next level... Sort of want to test the waters first.

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    Default Re: Has anyone had any problems with Hennessey Performance?

    Quote Originally Posted by 'Trust' View Post
    Agreed x2, I went through his facility at TX2K10 and was just shaking my head. Those poor customers. Hennessey will get what's coming to him.




    You realize that the car won't put 550 to the tires if it is rated at 550 to the motor right? Avg. 15% drivetrain loss it should put down 470RWHP ish.
    Unfortunetly it dosent work that way...

    550 crank on a viper should be 490-500 rwhp..

    The gen2's were 450 crank HP and routinely put down 400-410 rwhp

  30. #30
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    Default Re: Has anyone had any problems with Hennessey Performance?

    Quote Originally Posted by Twister View Post
    Unfortunetly it dosent work that way...

    550 crank on a viper should be 490-500 rwhp..

    The gen2's were 450 crank HP and routinely put down 400-410 rwhp
    That would be due to Dodge underrating the horsepower, which for some reason manufacturers tend to do from time to time. Hell, sometimes they overrate the horsepower, per the 99(?) Cobra which resulted in a recall and bad press. NOBODY complains when a car is underrated, but it's the complete opposite when it's overrated.

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